If you follow the fight game, then you know who Canelo Alvarez is. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 20 years, then you know who Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather is. Tonight these two will fight in what could be one of the most memorable, and high-grossing fights of the past 20 years. Seems surprising right? Only 2 years ago most of us would have been hoping for a Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight, and the young Canelo was just hoping he wouldn’t get denied trying to get into the club. Only 23 years old, you wouldn’t expect this young Mexican fighter to be prepared for a fight this big, but that’s the thing… He is ready.
The reigning WBC/WBA Light Middleweight Champion, Canelo Alvarez, much like Floyd (back when we went by the name “Pretty Boy”), is a phenom. A talent who turned pro at only 15 years old, and hasn’t lost a fight in the 8 years since (42-0-1), Canelo is everything the hype makes him out to be. He’s a tough, strong, and highly skilled fighter who has some impressive wins on his resume including wins over Jose Miguel Cotto, Kermit Citron, Austin Trout and the ageless, Sugar Shane Mosely. His combination of technical skill, raw punching power, and ability to fight both toe-to-toe as well as when against the ropes, make him a really dangerous opponent for the pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather.
Don’t get it twisted, Floyd is still the favorite (2 to 1 according to the latest Vegas lines). Mayweather is as fast and technical a fighter as we’ve ever seen, who has utilized those two traits to create an unbelievably effective counter punching style. He has made a career of baiting in aggressive fighters like Canelo, only to slip their punches by inches, only to snap back with jab or straight right. You see, Mayweather gets as perpendicular as possible to his opponent, tucking his chin behind his shoulder and using that shoulder as a shield to deflect punches away. This makes Floyd as a target, very small. The one spot that Floyd is supposedly vulnerable, is to his body, right under his left elbow. While this may be Canelo’s strategy, to attack the body, no prior challenger has ever actually been able to achieve any great measure of success. Mayweather’s other potential weakness could be the same thing that makes him great, his experience. Mayweather, 36 years old, is 13 years older than the challenger and is also fighting his 2nd fight in the past 8 months (his first time fighting 2 times in one year since 2008). However, if you saw any of Money May’s last 5 fights like I have, then I doubt you’ve seen any signs of age in his game.
Fact of the matter is this, everyone in the boxing world can’t wait for fight to begin. It has already recorded the largest gate ever for a title fight, more than $19mm in ticket sales, and is predicted to break 2mm in pay per view buys, which would in turn break the total fight revenue of $136mm set in 2007 by Mayweather v De La Hoya. Mayweather may be the greatest self-promoter since Muhammad Ali, but don’t let that fool you, this fight does have all the potential that you want in a great title fight.